Greene County’s boys soccer team left a competitive game with a tie last Tuesday.
The Tigers hosted Lincoln County. Because the game was a non-region contest, the teams agreed to end the game with the end of regulation and not play an overtime period or a penalty kicks situation. The score stood at 2-2 as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Greene previously defeated Lincoln on Feb. 28, 5-2. That victory gave Tigers head coach Antonio Durán high expectations heading into last week’s match.
“I felt confident about that game, especially since we had played before at Lincoln and the final score was to our favor,” Durán said. “We knew that Lincoln was coming for revenge, but we were ready. It definitely helped it was a home game, and we had some strong players that we didn't have the day that we played in Lincoln.”
Luis Castillo put up the Tigers’ first goal after most of the first half went scoreless. Castillo scored on a header at the 14:50 mark of the first half.
About seven minutes later, Lincoln drew a penalty. One of Lincoln’s players successfully attempted a penalty kick, which tied the game.
Each team scored once in the second half, too, with Greene’s Alfredo Martinez knocking in the Tigers’ second goal.
Durán said that he was happy with his team’s defensive effort during the game despite the two goals allowed. He said a chat during halftime helped sparked the team’s strong play during the second half.
“What helped them was the quick talk that we had at halftime,” Durán said. “The team decided that they would be playing to win, since they had done it before and they could do it again. They didn't want to lose at home.”
With last Tuesday’s result, the Tigers’ record is 2-2-1. The tie with Lincoln ended a two-game winning streak, which included the first game against Lincoln and a 10-0 mercy-rule win at Crawford County on March 6.
“We have a solid team,” Duránsaid.“The boys are strong and feel confident in what they do. They love and enjoy playing soccer and it shows. The issues they are still are trying to dominate are teamwork and communication.”
Unfortunately for the Tigers, last week’s game will be the team’s final one for a while.
Greene County schools announced last Thursday that they will be closed for at least three weeks, beginning this week. During that time, all sports are suspended.
And there is a possibility that schools could remain closed through the end of the year and sports could be outright canceled instead of delayed.
Durán remains hopeful that will not be the case, and he said his players need to be ready to resume activity even though they cannot officially meet as a team during this suspension.
“What I told them is that it doesn't matter if we are not at practice right now, everyone can continue to prepare themselves mentally and physically by practicing at home,” Durán said. “When crowd restrictions are limited, I encouraged them to try and find ways to play together because when we come back, they have to be ready.”